Joseph A. Porter

Joseph A. Porter

Professor Emeritus of English

Author of ten books and editor or co-editor of nine others, as well as the New Variorum Othello in progress, of which he is Editor-in-Chief, Joseph A. Porter aka Joe Ashby Porter studied at Harvard (BA, 1964), Pembroke College Oxford (Fulbright Fellowship, 64-65) and UC Berkeley (PhD, 1972). After teaching full time at U. VA. and part-time at three other institutions, in 1980 he came to Duke, where he is now Professor of English and of Theater Studies. He has served as Visiting Professor at the Université François Rabelais in Tours, France, and as Writer in Residence at Brown, and he has twice served as Instructor at the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Shakespearean Joseph A. Porter's books are The Drama of Speech Acts and Shakespeare's Mercutio, his edited Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and his eight co-edited volumes of Renaissance Papers. His primary works in progress are the MLA New Variorum Othello, and Shakespearean Moorings, a cultural study of Othello. His awards include the NEH Folger Institute Fellowship.

Fiction writer Joe Ashby Porter's books are the novels Eelgrass, Resident Aliens, and The Near Future, and the collections The Kentucky Stories, Lithuania: Short Stories, Touch Wood: Short Stories, and All Aboard: Stories. His work in progress includes a collection of short stories, a novel, and a memoir. His awards include two NEA Creative Writing Fellowships, and a 2004 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Literature with the commendation "No writer of his gifted generation has shown greater daring or has earned higher praise."


  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 1972
  • M.A., University of California at Berkeley 1966
  • B.A., Harvard University 1964

Porter, J. A. Le futur proche. Joëlle Losfeld/Gallimard (Paris), 2011.

Porter, J. A. All Aboard: Stories. Turtle Point Press, 2008.

Porter, J. A. The Near Future. (novel), Turtle Point Press, 2006.

Porter, J. A. Touch Wood: Short Stories. Turtle Point Press, 2002.

Porter, J. A. Resident Aliens (novel). New Amsterdam/Ivan R. Dee, 2000.

Porter, Joseph A., and Joseph A. ed. Critical Essays on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1997.

Randall, D. B. J. Renaissance Papers 1990. Southeastern Renaissance Conference, 1991.

Porter, J. A. Lithuania: Short Stories. Johns Hopkins UP, 1990.

Randall, D. B. J. Renaissance Papers 1989. Southeastern Renaissance Conference, 1990.

Porter, J. A. Shakespeare’s Mercutio: His History and Drama. UNC Press, 1989.


Porter, J. A. “Mercury.” Shakespeare Encyclopedia, Greenwood, 2014.

Porter, J. A. An Interface. 2012.

Porter, J. A. “For Bob.” Review of Contemporary Fiction 33.1: Robert Coover Festschrift, 2012.

Porter, J. A. “Eloquence and Liminality (repr. from Shakespeare’s Mercutio).” Shakespearean Criticism, Vol. 118, Gale, 2009.

Porter, J. A. “Now This.” Long Story Short: Flash Fiction by . . . North Carolina’s Finest Writers, 2009.

Porter, J. A. “Now This, repr.” Long Story Short: Flash Fiction by Sixty-Five of North Carolina’s Finest Writers, UNC Press, 2008.

Porter, J. A. “West Baltimore, repr.” So the Story Goes: Twenty-Five Years of the Johns Hopkins Short Fiction Series, edited by John T. Irwin and Jean McGarry, Johns Hopkins Universisty Press, 2005.

Porter, J. A. “Bowling Green, repr.” The Kentucky Anthology: Two Hundred Years of Writing in the Bluegrass State, edited by Wade Hall, U. Press of KY, 2005.

Porter, J. A. “Marlowe, Shakespeare, and the Canonization of Heterosexuality (2nd. reprint).” Literary and Cultural Theory: From Basic Principles to Advanced Applications, 2005.

Porter, J. A. from Shakespeare’s Mercutio. Vol. 68, Detroit: Gale Research, 2002.


Porter, J. A. “A Thread.” Golden Handcuffs Review, edited by Lou Rowan, vol. II, no. 23, Golden Handcuffs Review Publications, June 2017, pp. 65–69. Open Access Copy

Porter, Joseph A. “Othello: The State of Play. Lena Cowen Orlin, ed. Arden Shakespeare: The State of Play. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. xi + 290 pp. $26.95..” Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 3, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2015, pp. 1148–49. Crossref, doi:10.1086/683974. Full Text

Porter, J. A. “Review of Marie Chaix, Woman's Life.” Golden Handcuffs Review, 2014.

Porter, J. A. “Dear Toby.” Golden Handcuffs Review, 2014.

For Bob. 2012.

Porter, J. A. “Review of Toby Olson, _Tampico_.” Golden Handcuffs Review, 2009.

Porter, J. A. “Review of Ben Fountain, _Close Encounters with Che Guevara_.” Duke Magazine, 2008.

Ashby Porter, Joe. “'Solstice'.” Michigan Quarterly Review, vol. 45, no. 4, 2006, pp. 655–74.

Porter, J. A. “Revisiting Shakespeare’s Eliot.” Renaissance Papers 2004, 2005.

Oster, Jerry. “Joseph A. Porter/Joe Ashby Porter.” Duke Arts and Sciences News, 2004.


Porter, J. A. About my Fiction. 2010.

Mathews, R., and E. D. Peterson. “Response..” Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed), vol. 63, no. 10, 2010, pp. 1215–16. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/S1885-5857(10)70242-5. Full Text

Porter, J. A. "Touch Wood," Featured Reading. 2003.

Porter, J. A. "Bone Key" from _Touch Wood_. 2003.

Porter, J. A. Touch Wood. 2002.

Porter, J. A. Touch Wood. 2002.


O’Brien, Sean. “THEN AND NOW.” Tls the Times Literary Supplement, no. 5890, 19 Feb. 2016, pp. 16–16.

Porter, J. A. “In a Nutshell.” Golden Handcuffs Review, 2014.

Shakespeare, W. New Variorum Othello (in progress). Edited by W. Porter, Joseph A et al., 2013.

Porter, J. A. “In a Nutshell, Preliminary Sketch.” Fence, 2012.

Porter, J. A. “Burnt Alum.” Golden Handcuffs Review, 2011.

Porter, J. A. “Dream On.” Golden Handcuffs Review, vol. I, 2008.

Porter, J. A. “Nadine, repr., with new preface.” New Madrid, 2007.

Porter, J. A. “Merrymount.” Yale Review, 2006.

Porter, J. A. “Solstice.” Michigan Qurterly Review, 2006.

Porter, J. A. “Mr. Seguin’s Goat: Reverse Translation from Daudet, _Lettres de mon moulin_.” Golden Handcuffs Review, 2005.


Selected Grants

(94-0762) American Academy of Poets Award awarded by Mary Duke Biddle Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1994 to 2000